243 higher secondary schools headless, several key positions vacant

Around 243 higher secondary schools continue to remain headless affecting the academic and administrative functioning in these educational institutions.

According to official figures, around 103 posts of principals are lying vacant in the higher secondary schools of Jammu division while 140 posts of higher secondary school principals are lying vacant in Kashmir division.

Also, 21 positions of heads of different departments in District Institute of Education and Trainings (DIET) are lying vacant in Jammu division.

“The post of Deputy CEO is also lying vacant in Kulgam and Kupwara district of Kashmir division,” the official document reads.

According to the district-wise details, 31 posts of higher secondary school principals are vacant in Anantnag followed by 28 in Kupwara and 26 in Doda.

Also, 19 posts are vacant in Baramulla district, 15 in Bandipora, 14 each in Kulgam and Reasi and 13 in Ramban.

“Nine each posts of the higher secondary school principals are lying vacant in Budgam, Poonch, Shopian, Rajouri and Kishtwar district,” the official document reads.

Meanwhile, eight posts are vacant in Udhampur district, six each in Ganderbal and Kathua, five each in Pulwama and Jammu, and four each in Srinagar and Samba districts.

The J&K government in 2019 ordered upgradation of 90 high schools to the level of higher secondary schools. Besides, two high schools were also regularised which were earlier termed as hanging schools because of non-creation of posts after the upgradation of these schools to the higher secondary level.

The government had also created 2322 teaching and non-teaching posts including that of principals at higher secondary schools.

A top official said that the School Education Department had delayed posting of the principals in these higher secondary schools which had resulted in adhocism in the department, affecting the normal conduct of work.

“The post of principals in these higher secondary schools is manned by an official of equivalent rank or principal of other higher secondary school as his additional charge. However, it is not humanly possible for one person to manage two posts simultaneously,” the official said.

He said that the vacancies of higher secondary school principals increased over the years due to upgradation of schools to their higher level.

“After the high schools were upgraded to the higher secondary level, the department did not order corresponding promotions to fill these vacancies. Another factor is that the department has to keep some slots reserved for the people from reserved categories. The matter is sub judice,” the official said.

Talking to Greater Kashmir, Administrative Secretary School Education Department B K Singh said that the vacancies were created due to promotions and retirement of officials in the department.

“But we have already started the process for promotion of in-service employees. I am hopeful that we will fill up all the vacancies by April,” he said.

Singh said that the department had already started the exercise to identify the vacant posts which would be filled in a time-bound manner.